How to Reduce Pest Allergens in Your Home
SUMMARY: Allergies, asthma, and their symptoms can be an unrelenting problem for many Americans. Often times the allergens exist within our home environment, making symptoms even more difficult to control. In this article, we will discuss common pests that act as allergens, and ways to minimize them in your home.
Allergies, asthma, and their symptoms can be an unrelenting problem for many Americans. Often times the allergens exist within our home environment, making symptoms even more difficult to control. In this article, we will discuss common pests that act as allergens, and ways to minimize them in your home.
23 to 60 percent of children with asthma are shown to have increased symptoms when exposed to cockroach saliva, feces and cockroach bodies. In one study, 35 percent of inner city children were allergic to dust mites. Proteins in rodent urine can become airborne and exacerbate allergy symptoms. Rodent droppings can cause reactions as well. There is actually a syndrome called ‘sick building syndrome’, due to the reactions caused by high levels of the aforementioned allergens. With the amount of time that we spend inside of our home, it is ever more important that we make sure to remove as many of these possible allergens as we can.
The best way to remove these pest allergens is to use an IPM, or integrated pest management, protocol. All that means is that we want to address all the factors that are allowing these pests to flourish in our environment, and not just rely on chemical means.
Questions you should ask yourself to create your own personal IPM protocol:
a. Are you inadvertently attracting pests into your home with readily available food sources?
b. Is your landscaping well managed and not touching your home?
c. Does your home have adequate ventilation and moisture control?
d. Are you trash bins placed away from the home and sealed?
a. Do you have excessive clutter, creating safe areas for pests to hide?
b. Have you sealed all entry points: vents, cracks around doors and window, places that wiring enters the home? You can use expandable sealant foams, copper mesh, and silicone gels are good ways to seal all of those up.
c. Do you keep food sealed, cabinets and counters clean?
d. Do you take your trash out regularly? (no over night stays)
3) Non-chemical treatments:
a. Sticky traps and snap traps can be placed in areas that are out of reach for children and pets.
b. Regularly vacuum corners, baseboards, furniture, drapes, etc. to remove possible pests/eggs/droppings. Be sure to immediately empty the canister contents into a bag that can be sealed and place it in the trash bin.
c. Use repellants to keep the pests from staying inside your home even if they make it into your home.
d. Use heat/steam to kill mites, pests, and sanitize your fabric or upholstered items.
e. Ultrasound, predators, parasites, and lighting are other non chemical options available.